Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United States Communications Government Your Rights Online

Senate Passes 4-Year Re-Up of Patriot Act Provisions 422

Posted by timothy
from the but-sir-patriot-must-be-in-all-caps dept.
Bloomberg News reports that, as expected, today "[t]he US Senate approved a four-year extension of provisions in the USA Patriot Act allowing law enforcement to track suspected terrorists with roving wiretaps. ... The measure goes to the House for final passage before being sent to President Barack Obama for his signature. The surveillance powers would be extended until June 1, 2015." The story mentions that the Patriot Act powers this approval includes would extend "to so-called 'lone wolf' suspects who aren't affiliated with any terrorist group."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Senate Passes 4-Year Re-Up of Patriot Act Provisions

Comments Filter:
  • by jcr (53032) <[jcr] [at] [mac.com]> on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:06PM (#36257516) Journal

    If your congressman or senator failed to vote against this violation of the fourth and fifth amendments, he or she has violated their oath of office. Don't vote for them again unless you want this shit to continue.

    -jcr

    • by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:11PM (#36257606) Homepage
      There are unfortunately only two options in US politics: The Frying pan and the shiny new futuristic looking Frying pan with a non-stick coating
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        people like you who think this retarded shit are the reason we have nothing but the shitty futuristic frying pan to look forward to. run a campaign for someone in your home town who shows promise. ffs run yourself. if enough people did it and fucked with the system the system might churn out some results other than this crap. but no, you're an ass. and everyone around you is an ass too. like 290 million asses. and we wonder why things are going to hell.

        • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @08:05PM (#36258118)

          And if people stopped buying shitty appliances, producers would have to produce what the customer wants and the free market system would work.

          Guess what? We still have shitty politicians, we still have crappy goods and we still don't get what we really want in either. Why? Because people can't organize, that's why.

          So please, keep your ivory tower ideas to yourself unless you also provide an idea how to implement them.

          • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @08:09PM (#36258152)
            Change starts with you. Sitting around talking about how things are hopeless only ensures that things really are hopeless.
            • by Anonymous Coward

              Why doesn't it start with YOU?

            • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @09:01PM (#36258516)

              How cute. Yeah, change starts with me, and if we all thought like this we'd be living in a better world.

              Call back when you have a workable solution how to do it.

              • I fail to see how it's worse than doing nothing while lamenting the status quo, which is what you seem to propose.
              • With some research the problems and their solutions can be uncovered. I have determined that the primary cause of the politicians' lack of concern for their constituents is that the voting districts are too huge. House districts were originally supposed to be 30,000 people and not more than 50,000 people. With smaller districts comes greater access to office because the barrier to entry is greatly reduced. No longer are expensive media campaigns and popular personalities the benefit they are when a district is 700,000 people. Another issue resolved is the effectiveness of lobbying. The number of lobbyists required to lobby 10,000 people is so high that it makes it cheaper to just develop superior products than attempt to influence Congress. Unfortunately, every part of the Government and all special interests stand to lose with by returning power to the citizens, so the resources required to fight such a battle are unlikely to present themselves.

                • by RogerWilco (99615) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:27AM (#36261500) Homepage Journal

                  I think there are two big flaws in the US system:

                  1) The assumption that people's wishes and needs line up along geographic boundaries. No matter if it's 2, 30,000 or 700,000 people in a district.
                  2) First past the pole systems. People can't be divided into two groups. In my country we for example have 9 major political parties with each different combination of the following: [liberal vs. conservative, religious vs. atheist, socialist vs. capitalist, enviromentalist vs. industrialist].

                  It means that government happens by coalition, which means that the compromises are made between parties, instead of between groups within parties (tea party anyone?). I think it's a more transparent process.

                  I feel it also gives a lot more power to significant minorities as long as they're willing to compromise.

                  Next to that it allows for more rejuvenation in the political system, as even a relatively small group can get a foothold and grow from there into replacing established groups.

            • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday May 27, 2011 @07:15AM (#36261146)

              Amen, brother. I vote for who I want in office, not 'the best that could win'. I hate it when people say a vote for a third party candidate is a wasted vote. It's that attitude that ensures we are stuck with the status quo.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            You want ideas? Start with these few:

            • If your state has closed primaries join a group to help get them open and participate in this effort.

              Drop your party affiliation if you currently belong to a major party.

              Put a candidates sign in your front yard.

              Use the interwebs to spread the word in a rational fashion.

              Contribute to third party candidates that you find acceptable. Start on the local and state level. Third party candidates who run for federal positions are mostly a lost cause right now. I know people
        • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @10:18PM (#36258968)

          Ah, the old "run for office yourself" gambit. It makes you look all, like, cool and worldly and stuff, and liberates you from actual thought.

          I did work on two state campaigns here in California, for people I initially liked. Learned they were just sociopaths in it for themselves like all the others.

          OK, I'll run. Do you have a great big pile of money I can use? Or donors who will give to a nobody like me? Oh, and when I am beaten because some union, Party or corporation backed scumbag pwns me in the culpable media, can you make sure my job is there to go back to?

          Oh, wait, I have a rather interesting personal past. Nothing criminal, just interesting and experimental. The media will go after *that* to the exclusion of all else, including actual issues.

          Give me or point me to a workable strategy for a real citizen politician, who hasn't exactly lived the life of a monk, to pull it off, and I'll seriously consider it.

        • run yourself

          The problem is that most people need to work at full time jobs to earn their living. Being a politician is an option only for those who have deep pockets supporting them.

      • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @08:27PM (#36258294)

        There are unfortunately only two options in US politics: The Frying pan and the shiny new futuristic looking Frying pan with a non-stick coating

        This is not an issue of the two party system, this is an issue of "the public is largely ignorant."

        It always annoys me in these discussions when someone suggests the structure of our politics is somehow to blame. That's blaming someone else for our failings, it has nothing to with the number of boxes on a ballot. If more than 50% of the voters wanted the patriot act gone, republicans AND democrats would be slinging mud about "I'd get rid of it a FULL DAY SOONER than my opponent would!" Getting rid of it does -not- require voting in a third party (which, not for nothing, would require us to get rid of the first-past-the-post voting system we have, a move which WOULD require a third party to be voted in).

        It's stuck with us because the voters these days are morons who are scared of foreigners with bombs, and are exactly the type of fools who would give up essential liberty for a little bit of security. Politicians are salesmen: they're going to give the customer what they want, not what they need.

        We're too gullible when they're campaigning if we seriously believe voting for anyone of any party and then doing nothing else has a good chance of changing anything. Politicians usually don't have the power to lead us very far, politicians can't convince us that the patriot act is an abomination, most of them don't even try. Cable news isn't going to try, terrorism and stoking our fears is too sexy and gets too many viewers to kill that golden goose. To get rid of the PATRIOT act requires those US to inform other voters of what a bad idea it is. Voting for a third party candidate is, in my humble opinion, purely a waste of time if you're just going to check "libertarian" or "green" and do nothing else about it.

        That is a tall order. And, full disclosure, I'm busy trying to cure spinal cord injuries and play videogames to campaign against the patriot act. I don't have a problem with apathy, but I do find fault with lying to ourselves that the 2 party system is the problem.

        • by RoFLKOPTr (1294290) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @09:24PM (#36258664)

          Politicians are salesmen: they're going to give the customer what they want, not what they need.

          Politicians take it a step further. They make people think they need what the politician wants. How else could somebody possibly be elected with a campaign entirely based upon Hope and Change? The problem with politics is that in order to make it you must be a slimy bastard. People can fantasize all they want about how they could go in and fix politics but the fact is that you're not going to get past your local city council without back room deals and backstabbing the public.

        • by Requiem18th (742389) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @09:47PM (#36258788)

          Which is why I advocate doing away with elections altogether and implement Sortition. Essentially. Use the same system we use when selecting juries than when selecting representatives. A representative sample of the population is better than a man at representing the population wouldn't you think?

          Yes a Jury will lack experience in technical matters. But so are politicians. Like with politicians and like juries in trials, experts can be provided to inform the jury to take decisions. Unlike politicians, they won't make false promises,
          won't take decisions to advance a non existent political careers, nor are they as likely to cheat for personal gain, since they would be different people from different social levels.

          • The problem with random selection is that as bad as most politicians are, at least at the federal level most are a bit above average intelligence. The biggest advantage I see is that we'd be likely to get a much more moral bunch. The question becomes, how rapidly will power corrupt them?
          • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Friday May 27, 2011 @04:19AM (#36260444)
            Experts are already bought and paid for with research funding, and failing to walk the party line gets you out of a job and out of your position of an advisor.

            Dr David Nutt, advisor for drug policy to the Labour government, said marijuana shouldn't be reclassified to Class B (up from the C they dropped it to) and should be regulated, but legalised. Weed was reclassified, Nutt was fired.

            The corruption is deeper than politicians, I'm afraid.
        • If more than 50% of the voters wanted (fill in the blank)...

          It's just not true. Some things stay in place because it's advantageous for politicians to keeps them there (a.k.a. arrogance of power). There was obvious majority opposition to ObamaCare, which didn't stop it from becoming law. For something like the "Patriot Act" to be repealed or discontinued, opposition would have to be both numerous and VERY LOUD. Or the people in the legislature would have to be honorable, fat chance.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What's the bill number so we can look it up???

    • by Seumas (6865) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:24PM (#36257740)

      Maybe people will start to finally learn that the choices they are fed are bullshit and that both A and B are part of the greater subject -- C. If you vote for A, it benefits C. If you vote for B, it benefits C. Instead of idiots arguing "derp derp derp red versus blue" they might finally invest that energy into understanding what is really going on and doing something about it. Then again, probably not.

      I'm sure the president has the ability to veto this though. Surely he will? All these people that were so intent on voting this past election for "change" because the new jackass was going to be entirely different from the last jackass are surely going to have saved us from evil, right? So their pony will do everything he can to overthrow the USAPATRIOT Act, right? That must be why we haven't heard him say a single damn word about it. At all. Because he's just holding his tongue, so he can wield the veto power, yeah?

      I'm sure everyone will finally stop investing all of their energy in Obama's birth certificate and being raging homophobes and marching around abortion clinics so they can focus on things that are actually impacting our entire way of life, like government oppression and the absolute corruption of government by corporate shills. Right?

      • by grahamd0 (1129971) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @08:37PM (#36258340)

        That must be why we haven't heard him say a single damn word about it. At all. Because he's just holding his tongue, so he can wield the veto power, yeah?

        It's actually worse than holding his tongue. He has come out in support of the renewal and accused the short list of senators opposed to it of threatening national security.

        http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/05/obama-administration-says-rand-paul-risking-national-security-by-delaying-patriot-act.html

        • by PaulBu (473180) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @11:52PM (#36259466) Homepage

          Actually, Rand Paul was filibustering this for 7 hours, just asking for a (promised by Reid last time it was extended) full week of discussion!

          (I liked this title: http://www.unelected.org/democrat-harry-reid-blocks-rand-pauls-filibuster-of-the-patriot-act [unelected.org] but you are welcome to google your own!).

          And then we see people still thinking that there is some major difference between people wearing 'D' or 'R' labels, rather than between honest people and liars, and true "public servants" (as in, *Representatives* of *Us, the People*) and ones who pretend to be, to advance their agenda and get rich in the process...

          And, before you start protesting, saying that all he wanted to do is to amend it with some additional "gun rights" language, it was only one of his several proposed amendments (picked by Media for obvious reasons of further polarization of us). I guess it was quite a brilliant move to provoke at least some discomfort of cognitive dissonance in the minds of mainstream NRA-supporting republicans, who *also* see absolutely no harm in PATRIOT act!

          Well done, "Aqua Buddha"! ;)

          Paul B.

      • Maybe people will start to finally learn that the choices they are fed are bullshit and that both A and B are part of the greater subject -- C. If you vote for A, it benefits C. If you vote for B, it benefits C.

        That is why we should always vote third party. It isn't about the third party actually winning - it is about putting the fear of blindly serving C into the parties that do win.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Haha. You voted for any of these incompetent clowns?

      The guy I voted for got beat by money that was backing a puppet.

      • by jhoegl (638955)

        The guy I voted for got beat by money that was backing a puppet.

        redundant comment is redundant

    • by NFN_NLN (633283) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:35PM (#36257856)

      If your congressman or senator failed to vote against this violation of the fourth and fifth amendments, he or she has violated their oath of office. Don't vote for them again unless you want this shit to continue.

      -jcr

      I hope this is a lesson to everyone regarding temporary suspension of powers. There is NO SUCH THING AS TEMPORARY. Once you give them away they are gone until the next revolution and re-establishment of laws.

      • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @09:10PM (#36258580)

        There is NO SUCH THING AS TEMPORARY.

        Wikipedia: The Banking Act of 1933... introduced banking reforms...commonly known as the Glass–Steagall Act... provisions that prohibit a bank holding company from owning other financial companies were repealed on November 12, 1999.

        Temporary seems to apply to good laws more than bad.

      • by cold fjord (826450) on Friday May 27, 2011 @03:41AM (#36260296)

        I hope this is a lesson to everyone regarding temporary suspension of powers. There is NO SUCH THING AS TEMPORARY. Once you give them away they are gone until the next revolution and re-establishment of laws.

        I don't think you quite have the hang of how things work in a democracy.

        After the Civil War, black Americans were free, but then segregation laws were passed in some states, but they were ultimately struck down. The United States once had a constitutional amendment prohibiting alcohol, and then it was undone as very unpopular by another constitutional amendment. During World War 2, Americans had their spending controlled by ration books for things like food, gasoline, and clothing. That's over. During World War 2, American media and mail was censored by the government. That's over. Until recently, cities and states could place onerous restrictions or prohibitions on the ownership of firearms by law abiding citizens, but that has been struck down.

        The Patriot Act was previously amended to address civil rights concerns:

        Senate passes Patriot Act changes [usatoday.com]
        Posted 3/1/2006 11:11 AM Updated 3/1/2006 9:48 PM
        By John Diamond, USA TODAY
        WASHINGTON — The Senate added civil liberties protections to the USA Patriot Act on Wednesday, clearing the way for renewal of the anti-terrorism law passed shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
        The 95-4 vote ended months of bipartisan debate centering on privacy rights. Subsequent procedural votes Wednesday showed enough Senate support to move the bill this week to the House for final passage and then to President Bush.

        Most Americans are OK with spying on people in direct contact with terrorist organizations [state.gov], or who are plotting an attack.

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:58PM (#36258070)

      See how your senators voted here [nytimes.com]. I'm happy to see that both my senators (Cantwell and Murray) voted against.

      The Patriot Act isn't as invulnerable as it once was. It got only 72 votes in favor -- twelve above the necessary threshold. Maybe we can get rid of it in ten years or so.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by joocemann (1273720)

      If your congressman or senator failed to vote against this violation of the fourth and fifth amendments, he or she has violated their oath of office. Don't vote for them again unless you want this shit to continue.

      -jcr

      Here's a roll call of votes on the patriot act.

      http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2011/02/08/roll-call-vote-who-voted-for-and-against-the-patriot-act-282011/ [irregulartimes.com]

      I want to make a point here. I know many-a-commenter likes to equate the democrats and republicans, saying they are both pro-corporate, and both *equally* bad for us. And yet when I see roll calls on votes, as you will see here, there is a striking trend among the issues that most americans (of all parties) are not getting represented corre

      • ... Right??? (as someone asked above)

        If I were cynical (which I am!), I would say that both parties ensured passage of the PATRIOT act just to keep things "the way they are". Democrats, being more vulnerable in the next election cycle, had to cut their losses by having some of the most vulnerable ones splitting from the main party line.

        So, in some way, I think that I respect the tiny minority of 4 republicans who voted against it way more than 18 democrats. If only that I can think that they voted for their

      • Yes.. you see some dems on YEAS. and you see some repubs on NAYS. But what you *really* see as a whole is that the republicans are consistently selling us out.

        And yet in Senate, the majority of Dems voted yea as well. So both parties are beyond redemption.

  • by itsenrique (846636) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:07PM (#36257528)
    Oh god, here it is. The latest in fear buzzword technology. "Hunker down", WMD, axis of evil, and now the "lone wolf". I miss when "lock box" was the stupidest of these pre-9/11. The worst part is, the media keeps using these deceitful memes and people just keep eating bowl after bowl of this shit.
    • by jd (1658) <imipak@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:53PM (#36258022) Homepage Journal

      Lone wolf is particularly bad. Wolves are horrible hunters when solitary. They're only a significant threat to anything in packs. (The German U-Boat fleet discovered that, too, when they became incapable of forming their own wolfpacks.)

      If you want a meme that describes solitary madmen, "lone lolcat" would be more effective. Cats are dangerous on their own. Just ask a cheezburger.

      • You guys may not know this, but I consider myselfâ¦a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one man wolf pack. And then about 10 years ago, a cow-orker introduced me to /., and I thought â¦wait a second, could it be? And now I know for sure, I just added 1 million more geeks to my wolf pack. Millions of us wolves running around the internet together, looking for Beowulf Clusters & Turing Completeness. So tonight, we make a toast!
      • by misexistentialist (1537887) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @08:36PM (#36258330)
        The nature of government is expansionary. Since "lone wolves" have no ties to terrorism and few obvious characteristics, intensive surveillance and broad restrictive measures must be wielded against 100% of population.
    • But we all had a good laugh when "teabagging" was on the news.
  • This thing is never going away...
    • "Temporary security measures" rarely do, since the problem of keeping a country safe is never truly solved. All the DoJ has to do is point to the myriad domestic terrorist groups as justification for extending the PATRIOT act. There will always be radicals who want to take down the US government, and thus there will always be something for the DoJ to point to.
  • Lone wolf? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:09PM (#36257550)

    approval would extend "to so-called “lone wolf” suspects who aren’t affiliated with any terrorist group."

    So, more needle in a haystack stuff, we need to violate everybody's privacy just in case one in the 7billlion people on the planet hate us. Didn't they use to hate us for our freedom? Not a problem anymore....

    • Many Americans live in conditions that are worse than those of even the shittiest third-world nations.

      Well, heres the decision that has to be made-- are you able to live with the fact that, in a free society, someone could decide to end your life and there is little that could be done to prevent it?

      If not, then be prepared to give up freedoms for each and every ounce of security and peace of mind that you want.

      On the flip side, if you want your freedoms, be prepared to accept that, occasionally, really tragic things can happen to you, or your loved ones, and the most society will be able to do is punish the

  • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:09PM (#36257556)
    Because now that Osama is dead, this abomination is now to protect from mysterious random people.... A nice way of saying the PATRIOT act will stop being extended when we get rid of every last human being who hates America.
    • by pclminion (145572) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @09:10PM (#36258582)

      A nice way of saying the PATRIOT act will stop being extended when we get rid of every last human being who hates America.

      Exactly correct. The PATRIOT act will end when we have eliminated those who hate America: the "representatives" who continue to extend it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cold fjord (826450)

      Because now that Osama is dead, this abomination is now to protect from mysterious random people....

      Lets clarify this a bit, shall we?

      Yes, it will help protect us from mysterious people - currently unknown people who are in contact with terrorist groups, as well that people plotting attacks. That is the point after all, isn't it?

      Although most people on Slashdot seem to oppose spying on anyone, most Americans are OK with spying on people in direct contact with terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda (organizations trying to kill large numbers of people, not Dennis Kucinich/Ron Paul voters ... unless they ha

      • How on earth did this pap straight from the nattering neocon "expert" echo-chamber ever get modded up?
        The shredding of the bill of rights not about terrorism.
        The military spending is not about defense.
        The whole scam is designed to get powerful psychopaths even more power.
        They don't care about anything else, least of all the rights of mere people.
        Freedom for others would limit the psychopaths' power, but terror enhances it.
        Therefore these psychopaths have waged war not on terror but on freedom.
        Thus they are

  • by praedor (218403) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:10PM (#36257580) Homepage

    And goes into a 4 year extension of Big Brother spying on what books you read or buy, what your emails contain, etc. It allows Big Brother to collect information on you sans any justification whatsoever - you don't even need to have ANY connection to a so-called "terrorist" or "terrorist organization" (like environmental groups, worker's rights groups, anti-corporate groups, etc...you know, horrific "terrorists").

    It is not a "yawn". It is yet another shiv into the heart of so-called "liberty" and "freedom".

    Land of the free, home of the brave MY ASS. Land of the chattle, home of pansy candyasses is more accurate.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will ye tossers start voting something like greens or independents or whatever your alternative parties are already? I mean, last non-dem and non-rep president was 1850-1853.
    And don't start whining about how it's never going to matter because of them needing more than whatever share. With that attitude, it never will matter. So grow a pair and start filling in some alternative boxes next election.

    </rant>
    • by artor3 (1344997)

      40% of Democrats voted against, compared to only 10% of Republicans. If you want to effect change, vote Democrat, straight ticket, every time. From President down to the local dogcatcher. When the GOP is dead and buried, then we can make a new party to the left of the Dems. If you try to go for third parties right now, then the right-wing fascists will use their short term benefit to pass laws that improve their electoral odds in the future. That is, after all, what they are doing right now. They've e

      • 40% of Democrats voted against, compared to only 10% of Republicans. If you want to effect change, vote Democrat, straight ticket, every time.

        That doesn't make any sense whatsoever. If 40% of Dems voted against, then 60% of Dems voted for. So when "GOP is dead and buried", 60% of the Congress would keep the party line intact.

    • Well, to be fair, Fillmore was a Whig, which was pretty much the "other party" before the Reps existed.

      Face it, the US always had a two party system.

  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:28PM (#36257778) Homepage

    Anybody have a list?

  • Don't Forget. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:29PM (#36257790)

    This is the act that allows the president to declare ANYONE an enemy combatant. Even an American Citizen. And disappear them. No representation. No trial. They just vanish, to be indefinitely imprisoned and even tortured. Hell, killed, for all we know. Since nobody knows that the person is being held, there's no limitation. Granted, this has gone wrong pretty much every time it has been used (documented incidents of innocent people being shipped off to gitmo for example) against innocent people a number of times. But hey, it has the word PATRIOT in it!

    These assholes despise the citizenship of this country so much that they stuff something called the PATRIOT act with everything that is the opposite of patriotism and that directly undermines the country they claim the act is meant to protect. And we all sit around like fucking sheep, worrying about meaningless bullshit like birth certificates. And worse, all those jackholes who went around doing the "you HAVE to vote!" last year think that they've done their civic duty, because they voted. They chose between the giant douche and the turd sandwich and disavow any responsibility for upholding the status quo that continues to pin us all under its thumb.

    • You make those of us who oppose the Act look bad when you make blatantly misinformed rants about its actual contents. The PATRIOT Act is mostly related to special search-and-seizure power, not "enemy combatants".
  • Step by Step (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Renraku (518261) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:29PM (#36257794) Homepage

    Step 1: Be attacked by terrorists.

    Step 2: Implement draconian laws designed to 'combat terrorism' citing the terrorist attack and getting everyone scared. Temporary measures, of course.

    Step 3: After society is good and locked down, pass extension of those laws.

    Step 4: President gets elected that promises to remove these. President instead extends these.

    Step 5: Another terrorist attack or foiled plot.

    Step 6: Obviously this one law isn't working, so pass another.

    Step 7: Progress and repeat until you can't take a shit without someone needing to be there to look up your asshole and make sure you aren't about to shit a bomb into the public toilet at the gas station.

    Step 8: Children grew up with these laws, and they're just how things are.

    • by cosm (1072588)

      ... and make sure you aren't about to shit a bomb into the public toilet at the gas station.

      As a frequent traveler, I can confirm from the public toilets I have seen that this is already a common affair.

    • by Yaa 101 (664725)

      Step 0.5: Pay and educate terrorists to attack you.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @07:34PM (#36257846)

    Staffer: "How much time do we need to debate the Affordable Care Act?"

    Senator: "At least eight months!"

    Staffer: "How much time for the federal court appointee?"

    Senator: "T is Undefined. We're filibustering him without a vote."

    Staffer: "How about to renew the USA PATRIOT act?"

    Senator: "Oh, four to six hours."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Despite getting off to such a terrible start with the genocide of the "Native Americans" America was the last great hope for humans voluntarily creating a true democracy. The Constitution is an absolutely wonderful work. Future historians will marvel at it's elegance as the founding fathers saw, and attempted to protect against, what would come after them.

    Sadly they underestimated the unstoppable inertia of the mass of the "sheeple".

    America failed. It's another dead end.

    Ho hum... On with the show...

    Rebo

    • ... they underestimated the unstoppable inertia of the mass of the "sheeple".

      I hate that term. It's so old and worn out. Rather than making the user of the term look "catchy" or "with it", it just makes them look like a crank. Try using the phrase "Too many citizens are uninformed and apathetic". Doesn't that sound better? And it might work better - even though the people you talk about may be "sheeple", people are very, very unlikely to listen to or join with those that insult them. So, if you want to hav

  • Sweet (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Here's more "Hope and Change" for us.

  • Everybody knows it is never going to go away.

    Why not just make it permanent and stop pussy footing around.

    -Hack

  • Secret Patriot Act (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @08:18PM (#36258240)
    Further information here [wired.com].

    You think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden says it’s worse than you know. Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, the government applies a far broader legal interpretation — an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified, so it cannot be publicly assessed or challenged. But one prominent Patriot-watcher asserts that the secret interpretation empowers the government to deploy ”dragnets” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.....

  • by MoldySpore (1280634) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @08:34PM (#36258322)

    "Other provisions allow authorities to obtain business and library records, and to target so-called “lone wolf” suspects who aren’t affiliated with any terrorist group."

    a.k.a. Anyone. Say something negative about the government? You're a lone-wolf terrorist.

    Sure, we aren't there yet. But doesn't that seem like where this is headed? That part scares the crap outta me. I had no idea that was in there.

  • by anarkhos (209172) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @10:32PM (#36259106)

    But Reid attached it to some unrelated bill to avoid any debate.

    How does that feel, Nevada?

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.

Working...